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Maternal and Child Health

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Seed strengthens the pipeline of midwives, nurses, and obstetricians who advance access to respectful, high-quality care for 15 million expecting mothers and children across the four countries where we work.

The Challenge

Though access to health care has improved and more women in sub-Saharan Africa are giving birth in health facilities, maternal and newborn mortality rates across the region remain unacceptably high. In Sierra Leone, a woman is 50 times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication than a woman in the United States. In Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia — where Seed also works — the rates of maternal mortality and children under-five mortality are also unacceptably high.

The vast majority of these deaths are preventable, and according to The Lancet, the quality of patient care is a leading contributor and persistent challenge. Investing in training, supporting, and coaching health professionals — especially as they make the transition from students to practitioners — is essential and often overlooked.

Seed’s Unique Approach

Working in partnership with ministries of health, universities, and health facilities, Seed trains a rising generation of midwives, nurses, and obstetricians and collaborates with medical school faculty to advance curricula, incorporate new teaching methods, and support the application of classroom learning to clinical settings. Seed works hand-in-hand with emerging health professionals, delivering long-term, sustained training on management of shock, postpartum hemorrhage, neonatal resuscitation, and more basic, but critical skills such as patient charting and taking vital signs.

Seed and our partners promote respectful maternity care, which means that every woman has the right to dignified, supportive care throughout her pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postnatal period.

Seed is especially dedicated to advancing the role of midwives, recognizing that they are an incredibly valuable asset too often overlooked in clinical settings. With proper training and support, midwives are well equipped to share the caseloads of physicians and nurses in settings where there are simply too few health professionals to provide care. Seed also trains midwives to help provide a continuum of care to women, supporting them through prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care, to sexual and reproductive health care.

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Impact Spotlight

  • 60% Decrease in maternal deaths at Makeni Regional Hospital from 2021 to 2022
  • Sierra Leone has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world - and in just the first year of partnership with the School of Midwifery Makeni and Makeni Regional Hospital, Seed observed a 60.5% decrease in total number of maternal deaths year-over-year across the facility. In Makeni, training has focused on the identification and management of obstetric emergencies, patient chart documentation, and good team communication.
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See More Of What We Do

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